Lim Guan, the Finance Minister of Malaysia, while speaking at the 2018 Fintech Conference at Kuala Lumpur, has stated that a comprehensive set of guidelines and regulations to track ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges will be rolled out next year, in the first quarter itself. The Conference was organized at the behest of the country’s Securities Commission (SC) and forms part of the organisation’s increasing efforts to encourage and promote newer asset classes and fundraising or investment pertaining to them.
Guan’s keynote address noted that the regulatory framework was due to be be put together by two organizations: the SC itself and the nation’s apex bank, Bank Negara Malaysia. He further stated that since the current situation of the crypto market was gripped by uncertainties and suspicions of scams or unscrupulous goals, the primary objective of the regulations would be to safeguard the interests of the consumers. Overpowering the skepticism towards crypto by ensuring just consumer protection standards was the basic motive behind the decision to enforce a regulatory framework, his speech told us. He said:
While some parties might still be skeptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors.
His speech harped on the fact that the Finance Ministry would continue to oversee the framework formulation procedure and preside over decisions taken by the Bank Negara and the Securities Commission. The Minister himself would be closely involved in the process. The Malaysian government has recently been rather active in promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises and believes in the potential of the crypto sector in filling the void in financing. By developing alternative ways of funding, the government plans to lower its own fiscal burdens and shift a section of the weight on a robust private sector.
Since the traditional avenues for funding have been bled dry already, with few investors willing to shell out cash, launching ICOs and prompting venture capitalists and others to invest in ICOs, can be a good idea to supplement the Malaysian knowledge economy. The government, in its attempt to promote the crypto and ICO sector, has also contributed funds towards the Co-Investment Fund which merges the functions of peer-to-peer financing platforms and equity crowdfunding. Earlier, the Minister has also emphasized upon the government’s willingness to allow crypto as long as regulatory compliance with Malaysian guidelines was maintained.